As I studied the culture and behaviours surrounding fantasy sports, the more I learnt that gambling seemed to go hand in hand with this online activity. This behaviour is particularly prevalent in the United States.
Comments on my previous blog post and a podcast that Chris sent through to me, got me thinking of the idea of online gambling. I’m sure at some point in outlives we have witnessed the adverse effects of gambling, be that through someone we know or just witnessing the damage at our local pub.
Online gambling, allows the ‘punter’ to place bets on any sport event, at any time, any where in the world. Pretty scary thought when you think about how enticing it could be to win a lot of money from the comfort of your bed.
To my surprise, the incidence of problem gambling is significantly lower for online gambling in comparison to other forms of gambling with the Productivity Commission estimating that 75 – 80% of problem gambling is directly related to the use of poker machines. (Australian Productivity Commission Report on Gambling 2010).
The same Productivity Report found that online gambling in Australia is an industry to worth around $800 million. One of the main reasons that online betting is so popular, besides its accessibility, is that most sites will offer special promotions, better odds and a wider range of markets for their members.
There are 400,000 problem gamblers, and many more affected by those addicted to gambling. For many of us, gambling is social past time, that is nothing more than some harmless fun. However for those how can’t control their betting, their big and regular loses is what the gambling industry continues to survive on.
There are many ways to regulate gambling. Restrict the advertisement hours, no bets to be taken from credit cards and players to nominate a line of credit they’re willing to loose before they’re allowed to play.
Should online gambling be regulated further, with companies such as TAB and SportsBet taking ownership for these addictions, or do the players need to take ownership of their behaviour and loses?